Rounding out July…for 8.1.2015

We’re planting for the fall. We’re harvesting the summer. 
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The amazing transformation created by seed, soil, sunlight, and water.

And lots of sweat, of course. 
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Pictured above is part of our booth at the Brandermill market last weekend. For those of you for whom that market is convenient, please do continue to tell your friends and neighbors about it. It’s a delightful market with all the staples: vegetables, fruit, meat, seafood, goat cheese, flowers, plants, pasta, bread, cookies… 
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…yellow tomatoes. (We like this sweet little variety.) These yellow ones are available right now in our farm stand, along with our wonderful red varieties. AND – we are hooking up our new refrigerator case this afternoon so you can self-serve purchase our cold vegetables – and flower bouquets! We’ll share a photo as soon as it is up and running.

The humidity is forecasted to break tonight, so the next couple of days will be nicer to spend outside. Come visit us at the market or here at the farm to pick up your veggies. Your body will thank you. And your taste buds. :)

Meanwhile, the following is…Available for Market Share CSA members to choose from this week: Basil, Beets (without tops), Cantaloupe, Chard, Eggplant, Flower bouquets, Garlic, Green Beans, Kale (curly), Lettuce Mix (just a bit), Okra, Parsley, Peppers (jalapenos, sweet bell, carmen, lunchbox, padron…), Salad Mix (just a bit), Summer Squash, Tomatoes (slicers, cherries, and bulk options), Watermelon…and naturally leavened Hearth Baked Bread.

Recipe Suggestions: see these and others cataloged on our Recipe Page
Eggplant
Stuffed Eggplant is on our list to make this week, Spaghetti with Eggplant and Tomato Sauce is what we enjoyed last week (with pasta from Richmond’s Bombolini Pasta).
Sweet Peppers – the long, red peppers available recently is the Carmen pepper. It looks scary spicy but it is all sweet, we promise. It’s an Italian Bull’s horn variety and we love it. Add it to salad, or slice it and spread goat cheese on the slices.
Chard – We will keep saying it: We love love love our chard scrambled with eggs, as in this Swiss Chard Scramble recipe.

2015 Market Share CSA Members: Reserve your selection online to pick up on Saturday, August 1st at our farm, at the Brandermill Green Market, or at the South of the James market.

Vegetables not ordered by our Market Share CSA members will join us at the Brandermill Green Market and South of the James market this Saturday. Anyone may order select goods from us, through Fall Line Farms, Richmond’s online farmers’ market. You can use discount code “broadfork” to earn a complimentary 6 month subscription.

Enjoy ~ Janet, Dan, and the rest of the Broadfork crew
(Want to learn more about us? Visit us on FacebookInstagram, or Twitter.)

CSA Shares for 7.29.2015…and CSA Member Farm Party announcement

This week’s Farm Share will most likely include:
Lettuce Mix, Potatoes, Tomatoes, Chard, Sweet Peppers, Eggplant, Garlic, plus optional Basil

* Mark your Calendars! *
Our 2015 CSA Member Farm Party will be on Sunday, September 27th, from 2-6 pm.
CSA Members: Please join us on the farm to share food, drink, a members-only farm tour, and a celebration of the 2015 season. Bring some food to share and sit with us for a spell. Drop in for just a bit or stay the whole afternoon. Driving directions and information (including tour time, tba) found here.

Recipe Suggestions: see these and others cataloged on our Recipe Page
EggplantStuffed Eggplant is on our list to make this week, Spaghetti with Eggplant and Tomato Sauce is what we enjoyed last week (with pasta from Richmond’s Bombolini Pasta).
Sweet Peppers – the long, red peppers in shares recently is the Carmen pepper. It looks scary spicy but it is all sweet, we promise. It’s an Italian Bull’s horn variety and we love it. Add it to salad, or slice it and spread goat cheese on the slices.
Chard – We will keep saying it: We love love love our chard scrambled with eggs, as in this Swiss Chard Scramble recipe.
Potatoes – We grow just a few white potatoes each year, just for our CSA members. Last year every single one of them rotted in the ground during a rainy spring spell, so we are excited to dig potatoes today! Try them these ways: New Potatoes with Basil, Roasted Potatoes with Tomatoes, Basil, and Garlic

Available for Market Share CSA members to choose from this week:
Basil, Beets, Chard, Eggplant, Flower bouquets, Garlic, Green Beans, Kale (curly, bagged), Peppers (jalapenos, bell, padron…), Salad Mix (a wee bit), Summer Squash, Tomatoes, Watermelon…and naturally leavened Hearth Baked Bread.

2015 Market Share CSA Members: Reserve your selection online to pick up on Wednesday, July 29th at our farm, in Church Hill, or at Good Health Herbs.

Enjoy ~ Janet, Dan, and the rest of the Broadfork crew
(Want to learn more about us? Visit us on FacebookInstagram, or Twitter.)

Watermelon Week!…for 7.25.2015

This week saw an important seasonal milestone around here: One month past the summer solstice is the peak of summer heat. That means it’s all downhill after July 21! This is how we celebrate:
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Thank goodness watermelons are ready. We like to grow really tasty varieties that are also a manageable size. That means they aren’t always familiar pink inside. We are, of course, required to taste test some before making them available to CSA members and farmers’ market customers. (Plus, a few always crack open during the picking/loading process. We dive into those cracked beauties with excitement.) This yellow variety is our favorite melon. We made this Watermelon Lime Cooler, pictured, this morning. (The recipe is by a local Chesterfield woman. Check out her website via the recipe link.) We doubled the recipe in order to have a drink for 7 people here, and it used less than a full melon. We also used only half of the honey the recipe calls for in order to keep things more tart.  DSC_0124
Melons love the summer heat, but salad/lettuces do not. We are giving it our best around here to have salad/lettuce at least for our CSA members (Farm Share members and Market Share orders) in July and August. It’s not easy and it’s not the best tasting salad we grow, but it’s enjoyable. And part of seasonal eating. We don’t have tomatoes in March and we don’t always have salad greens in July.
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There isn’t any significant pest or disease issues with our summer salad greens. They just don’t grow, or simply grow only a few leaves and then shoot up a flower. That doesn’t give us salad greens to cut. There is therefore a lot of loss with salad greens this time of year, and edible yields are low. But hey! We are on the autumn-side of July 21. Abundant salad greens are on the horizon. But not until after August. The danger of focusing on July 21 as the peak of summer heat is thinking that it’s a quick downslide to cooler temperatures. August has got plenty of blaze.
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Speaking of blaze…
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These big red peppers (the one shown about 7 inches long) have the appearance of a blazing hot, spicy pepper. But they are not! In Farm Shares and Market Share options this time of year, please get to know this pepper. It is all sweet, with no spice. (It is shown with field dirt/rain splash on it. We do rinse them off before putting them in your hands.)
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This email is now obviously highlighting some of the varieties that we prefer to grow due to better flavor and sometimes better ability to grow a healthy plant under organic management here in the hot, humid Piedmont of Virginia. Those red peppers pictured above are simply better than the “standard” red bell pepper. We love getting to grow food based on these good reasons – rather than based on what transports well, or holds up well on a grocery store shelf, or what is simply familiar. We prefer to help everyone learn what the best foods are for growing and eating and nourishing us in this place.

The violet colored eggplant, above, is a better eggplant than the “traditional” dark purple/black, oblong variety that is most common around here. The one pictured is not yet all the way mature/big enough, but it gives you the idea of how different it is than the more common variety. We most often prepare these by slicing them into round that are a generous quarter-inch think, spread them single layer on a greased baking sheet, drizzle a wee bit of olive oil over top of the rounds, and sprinkle some sea salt over the whole affair. Bake at 400 degrees until soft and a bit browned (15 minutes? 20?) and serve drizzled with a honey-balsamic dressing. This summer we are serving everything under a drizzle of honey-balsamic dressing.
DSC_0130 Green beans are still cranking (new flowers pictured above), and we have to give a huge round of applause to the amazing Rachel and Kyle who are picking almost every single one of these beans, by hand, kneeling down. This takes a long time and a good podcast. If you see either of these good people at market this weekend, offer them thanks for this work – even if you aren’t picking up any of our green beans. They have both been working so hard on our little farm this season, learning a ton and hopefully having their minds and bodies stretched and pushed in productive ways.  DSC_0123 Because of their help, the following is Available for Market Share CSA members to choose from this week: Basil, Beets, Chard, Cucumbers, Eggplant, Flower bouquets, Garlic, Green Beans, Kale (curly, bagged), Microgreens, Peppers (jalapenos, sweet bell, carmen, lunchbox…), Salad Mix, Summer Squash, Tomatoes (slicers, cherries, and bulk options), Watermelon…and naturally leavened Hearth Baked Bread.

Recipe Suggestions: see these and others cataloged on our Recipe Page
Peppers – This is the week for stuffed peppers! If you don’t already have your favorite recipe (we simply make a nicely-spiced medley of whatever we have around, plus rice), try a mexican-style vegetarian recipe, or a quinoa-stuffed vegetarian version.
Green Beans – we love our beans these ways: Wok Seared Sesame Green Beans,Sesame Tempura Green Beans with Soy Dipping Sauce, Green Beans with Sesame Vinaigrette.
Summer Squash – We haven’t yet tried Summer Squash Sloppy Joes but they sound delicious (it calls for mixing the squash with protein) and are on our list for this week’s meals. This Summer Squash Saute recipe is a way we really enjoy this vegetable.
Tomatoes – we will keep repeating that we love, love our tomatoes simply diced and put in a bowl with a minced clove of garlic and a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt. Let sit for a few minutes before serving. Our kids spoon large amounts of this on their plate whenever it is served. The alchemy of the flavors is amazing.
Chard – We love love love our chard scrambled with eggs, as in this Swiss Chard Scramble recipe.

2015 Market Share CSA Members: Reserve your selection online to pick up on Saturday, July 25th at our farm, at the Brandermill Green Market, or at the South of the James market.

Vegetables not ordered by our Market Share CSA members will join us at the Brandermill Green Market and South of the James market this Saturday. Anyone may order select goods from us, through Fall Line Farms, Richmond’s online farmers’ market. You can use discount code “broadfork” to earn a complimentary 6 month subscription.

Enjoy ~ Janet, Dan, and the rest of the Broadfork crew
(Want to learn more about us? Visit us on FacebookInstagram, or Twitter.)
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CSA Shares for 7.22.2015

This week’s Farm Share will most likely include:
Salad Mix, Tomatoes, Garlic, Onions, Green Beans, Sweet Peppers, Summer Squash, Watermelon.

Recipe Suggestions: see these and others cataloged on our Recipe Page
Peppers – This is the week for stuffed peppers! If you don’t already have your favorite recipe (we simply make a nicely-spiced medley of whatever we have around, plus rice), try a mexican-style vegetarian recipe, or a quinoa-stuffed vegetarian version.
Green Beans – we love our beans these ways: Wok Seared Sesame Green Beans, Sesame Tempura Green Beans with Soy Dipping Sauce, Green Beans with Sesame Vinaigrette.
Summer Squash – We haven’t yet tried Summer Squash Sloppy Joes but they sound delicious (it calls for mixing the squash with protein) and are on our list for this week’s meals. This Summer Squash Saute recipe is a way we really enjoy this vegetable.
Tomatoes – we will keep repeating that we love, love our tomatoes simply diced and put in a bowl with a minced clove of garlic and a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt. Let sit for a few minutes before serving. Our kids spoon large amounts of this on their plate whenever it is served. The alchemy of the flavors is amazing.
Chard – We love love love our chard scrambled with eggs, as in this Swiss Chard Scramble recipe.

Available for Market Share CSA members to choose from this week: Basil, Beets, Chard, Eggplant, Flower Bouquets, Garlic, Kale, Peppers (sweet and spicy ones), Summer Squash, Tomatoes (slicers, cherry, including bulk options)…and Naturally Leavened Hearth Baked Bread

2015 Market Share CSA Members: Reserve your selection online to pick up on Wednesday, July 22nd at our farm, in Church Hill, or at Good Health Herbs.

Enjoy ~ Janet, Dan, and the rest of the Broadfork crew
(Want to learn more about us? Visit us on FacebookInstagram, or Twitter.)

Gold, Jewels, Flowers, Richness …for 7.18.2015

This is the time of year when we feel so rich. 
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Surrounded by gold.
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Fragrant flowers.
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A humble apple harvest – salvaged before bugs devour them. They will ripen inside.
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Plenty of tomatoes in our self-serve farm stand, which we are so flattered and humbled to have people go out of their way to visit. Thank you!
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A cool morning. (In July! In the piedmont of Virginia!)
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We are five years in to this farm business. (Farm experiment, we sometimes feel like it is.) We feel confident that we will never tire of the beautiful and amazing way the season unfolds.
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Though we often have to work hard to summon up the mindfulness to look up, let go of the stress of the long to-do list and looming daily deadlines, and soak it in. But every time we do, we are reminded of what a privilege it is to fill this role in our community and to eat the best food around.
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Available for Market Share CSA members to choose from this week: Basil, Beets, Cabbage (miniature but delicious, sold in pairs), Chard, Cucumbers, Eggplant, Flower bouquets, Garlic, Green Beans, Kale (curly, bagged), Lavender flower bundles (dried), Microgreens, Peppers (jalapenos, sweet bell, carmon, lunchbox…), Salad Mix, Summer Squash, Tomatoes (slicers, cherries, and bulk options)…and naturally leavened Hearth Baked Bread.

Recipe Suggestions: see these and others cataloged on our Recipe Page
Tomatoes & Jalapenos – pair well in Pico de Gallo
EggplantRoasted Eggplant with Garlic and Herbs is a simple and tasty way that we love to enjoy eggplant
Cabbage, Mini – Our cabbages did not do well this spring/summer…but the miniature heads that grew are crunchy and delicious. Sliced ribbon thin, one mini head is perfect as a topping for a meal of fish tacos (that is what we made for dinner last night). OR make a simple Cabbage Salad with Lemon and Garlic  OR this Chinese Cabbage Salad is a favorite (with or without the ramen noodles it calls for)
Cherry Tomatoes – Try them Roasted with Basil and Garlic...they become even more like bites of gold when roasted
Sweet Peppers – These also are amazing when roasted. Toss them on the roasting pan with the cherry tomatoes recipe above, or slice them and serve with Dill & Parsley Dip(the recipe calls for both herbs, either fresh or dry).

2015 Market Share CSA Members: Reserve your selection online to pick up on Saturday, July 18th at our farm, at the Brandermill Green Market, or at the South of the James market.

Vegetables not ordered by our Market Share CSA members will join us at the Brandermill Green Market and South of the James market this Saturday. Anyone may order select goods from us, through Fall Line Farms, Richmond’s online farmers’ market. You can use discount code “broadfork” to earn a complimentary 6 month subscription.

Enjoy ~ Janet, Dan, and the rest of the Broadfork crew
(Want to learn more about us? Visit us on FacebookInstagram, or Twitter.)
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CSA Shares for 7.15.2015

This week’s Farm Share will most likely include:
Everyone: Tomatoes (slicing), Cherry Tomatoes, Kale, Beets, Salad Mix, Garlic, Basil, pair of Jalapenos, and a pair of mini-Cabbages
Church Hill: also Parsley, Eggplant
On Farm: also Dill, Sweet Peppers

Recipe Suggestions: see these and others cataloged on our Recipe Page
Tomatoes & Jalapenos – pair well in Pico de Gallo
EggplantRoasted Eggplant with Garlic and Herbs is a simple and tasty way that we love to enjoy eggplant
Cabbage, Mini – Our cabbages did not do well this spring/summer…but the miniature heads that grew are crunchy and delicious. Sliced ribbon thin, one mini head is perfect as a topping for a meal of fish tacos (that is what we made for dinner last night). OR make a simple Cabbage Salad with Lemon and Garlic  OR this Chinese Cabbage Salad is a favorite (with or without the ramen noodles it calls for)
Cherry Tomatoes – Try them Roasted with Basil and Garlic...they become even more like bites of gold when roasted
Sweet Peppers – These also are amazing when roasted. Toss them on the roasting pan with the cherry tomatoes recipe above, or slice them and serve with Dill & Parsley Dip (the recipe calls for both herbs, either fresh or dry).

Available for Market Share CSA members to choose from this week: Basil, Beets, Chard, Garlic, Summer Squash, Tomatoes (including bulk options)…and Naturally Leavened Hearth Baked Bread

2015 Market Share CSA Members: Reserve your selection online to pick up on Wednesday, July 15th at our farm, in Church Hill, or at Good Health Herbs.

Enjoy ~ Janet, Dan, and the rest of the Broadfork crew
(Want to learn more about us? Visit us on FacebookInstagram, or Twitter.)

Introducing our Farm to Teenagers…for 7.11.2015

Pardon the late hour of this newsletter. We are enjoying a visit from St. Christophers Summer Institute on Leadership and Public Service as they focus on Food again this year. The chore list before their arrival this morning was too long to get this email/blog post written and sent out before we began hosting these wonderful teenagers for a day of learning and working.
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(For Market Share CSA members who don’t yet know: we open the online ordering page as early as we can on Monday and Thursday mornings, usually by 8:00 am, so you don’t have to wait for this email to be able to order. But we know the email serves as a reminder for most.)
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The teens, Dan, our crew, and our three older children continue work outside now as our baby’s fussing demanded a break inside the house. That means I (Janet) get a few minutes to send this your direction.

We love having a group of high school aged youth visit us for a day. Their questions are refreshing, they provide us a glimpse of a perspective other than what we are used to, and we plan tasks to do with them that give them a taste of hand-powered farm work while providing us a blast of energy to make progress on things that would take our normal work crew a lot longer to accomplish.
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With them today, we are weeding carrots, pulling brassicas (kale, collards, broccoli) that are done for the summer out of the field and into the compost, and hanging garlic. The picture immediately above is of the group heading into the rows of carrots. (The photo below captures my attention getting distracted by the butterfly in the zinnias. We love growing these simple-and-beautiful flowers for their beauty in a vase as well as the amazing pollinators they allow us to witness.)
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All of our garlic was pulled up from the field last month and put in the upstairs of the barn to dry. This is the first year we have had this covered barn space to use for drying alliums (garlic and onions)! We are so thrilled. Step one is to simply deliver arm-fulls of garlic to a tarp. Step two is to wait until either a) a rainy day, or b) a mass of humanity to make light work of bundling and hanging the garlic so that it stays out of the way.
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Ta-da!
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We’ll share a photo of the finished project with all of the garlic hanging. It means flavor and spice and nutrition and health to us. Add it to everything. Barn rafters full of garlic. We are so fortunate.
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Speaking of fortunate, we continue to get blessed with amazing photos by Tisha Lyn Photography. She is capturing images of our work, such as above, as part of her Good Farms Project. I don’t remember what was so funny during the beet harvest pictured above, but it is true that I love beets and I love vegetable farming. What’s not to smile about? (And…our beets are really good right now. Especially with garlic. And goat cheese.)
beets crateAvailable for Market Share CSA members to choose from this week: Basil, Beets, Chard, Cucumbers, Eggplant (a few), Flower bouquets, Garlic, Green Beans, Kale, Peppers (jalapenos, sweet bell…), Salad Mix (a bit!), Summer Squash, Tomatoes (slicers, cherries, and bulk options)…and naturally leavened Hearth Baked Bread.

Recipe Suggestions: see these and others cataloged on our Recipe Page
Primavera Sauce – We have been loving a combination of vegetables similar to thisprimavera recipe involving carrot, parsley, basil, pepper, tomato, eggplant, garlic…It tastes like summer and is great on top of pasta or any grain of your choice.
Chard – We haven’t included this beauty very much in the Farm Share this year, but it is a favorite of ours. Slice it ribbon-thin for a raw salad and top it with goat cheese or feta and a honey-balsamic dressing. Or slice it into 1-inch-wide strips and steam it oh-so-lightly and serve with eggs. Or saute up onions and garlic and add strips of chard until soft. They are vibrantly colored, sweet, and delicious!
Beets – We always say roast them, or pan-cook them and serve with goat cheese/feta, walnuts, raisins, and our standard honey-balsamic dressing. But if you need to eat beets differently than we do, try these: Roasted Beets and Tomato Salad, or Lemony Beet Hummus
Sweet Peppers – They get served here most often chopped up with tomatoes and tossed with olive oil, salt, and garlic. Or simply sliced and dipped in hummus or any dip. But we try to save some for the primavera sauce above, or roasted and as a topping for tacos/burritos.
Eggplant – This summer beauty is the one garden product that is really hard to eat raw. It is delicious so many ways: In a primavera sauce as mentioned above, or simply cubed and saute with oil and salt and garlic. Or slice into half-inch thick slices and roast, or grill after a honey marinade.

2015 Market Share CSA Members: Reserve your selection online to pick up on Saturday, July 11th at our farm, at the Brandermill Green Market, or at the South of the James market.

Vegetables not ordered by our Market Share CSA members will join us at the Brandermill Green Market and South of the James market this Saturday. Anyone may order select goods from us, through Fall Line Farms, Richmond’s online farmers’ market. You can use discount code “broadfork” to earn a complimentary 6 month subscription.

Enjoy ~ Janet, Dan, and the rest of the Broadfork crew
(Want to learn more about us? Visit us on FacebookInstagram, or Twitter.)
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Last three photos, credit to Tisha Lyn Photography. Thank you!!